BXL services forced into administration by pensions deficit

Loss of contracts has also hit education and training charity hard, says commercial director Mike Cleveley

BXL Services
BXL Services

The education and training charity BXL Services has gone into administration because of a pensions deficit and a loss of service-delivery contracts.

The Birmingham-based charity has 26 staff and, according to figures from the Charity Commission’s website, had an income of £2m in 2010/11. It runs work-related programmes in schools and arranges work experience placements for students. It supports about 20,000 young people each year.

Mike Cleveley, the charity’s commercial director, said he was unable to say how much the pensions deficit was worth because it was commercially sensitive information, but he said it was a "significant sum". He said he hoped the administrators, PricewaterhouseCoopers, would be able to sell the charity so that it could continue operating.

He said the charity was still running, and staff had not been issued with redundancy notices. "We are still open for business," he said. "We are delivering in schools and taking orders for our services."

Cleveley said BXL Services had taken on 80 staff from the employment service Connexions under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, or Tupe, when the charity was set up in 2008. It was unsustainable, he said, for the charity to be responsible for deficits linked to these pensions.

The organisation had since shrunk to 26 employees, he said, because it lost a service delivery contract with the Skills Funding Agency and another contract under the National Educational Business Partnership programme – it had made some staff redundant as a result. Cleveley said the charity had also been hit because schools were purchasing fewer of its services than they had in the past.

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